The director-general and founder of Tinubu Support Organisation (TSO), Hon. Aminu Suleiman, has expressed optimism in the newly inaugurated Bola Tinubu-led administration to tackle challenges in the maritime sector, especially in the area of insecurity witnessed on the nation’s waterways.
Speaking at the review session of the book titled, ‘Asiwaju: Roadmap to Renewed Maritime Hope,’ hosted by the Asiwaju Maritime Network in Abuja, Hon. Suleiman noted that insecurity on the waterways is one of the greatest challenges in the maritime sector in the country.
He stated that, “insecurity on our waterways is the number one challenge in the maritime sector. But considering what Asiwaju has done with the Eko Atlantic, and as a Lagosian, I am confident that he would address all challenges bedeviling the industry.”
He expressed hope that the new administration led by Bola Tinubu, with his Renewed Hope agenda, would transform the sector and enable it to take its rightful place.
He also enjoined Nigerians to support the administration of Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu and Kashim Shattima for a better Nigeria, which in the maritime sector is translated to mean ensuring that the nation’s waterways are safe and secure for businesses to thrive.
Alh. Ibrahim Abubakar, a seasoned maritime expert, who reviewed the book, commended the Convenor of the group, Mallam Usman S. Kaoje for bringing industry players to the table and providing such a thought-provoking roadmap for the new administration in addressing maritime issues, this being the first of its kind being written as a guide to an incoming administration.
He recommended the development of a maritime industry master plan which he said will serve as a long-term strategy that will see to the full realisation of the nation’s maritime economy.
A maritime expert, Mal. Munir Mijinyawa, on his part, said there is a lot to be tapped from the blue economy, especially in the area of indigenous shipping where agricultural produce could be promoted.
He noted that, if properly harnessed, the sector could provide a viable economy and create sustainable employment opportunities for Nigerians.
Speaking to journalists shortly after the event, Convenor of the Asiwaju Maritime Network, Mallam Usman S. Kaoje said the publication was premised on the desire to unlock the potentials of the Maritime industry for the benefit of all Nigerians.
He expressed hope that the book, when completed, will be a source of inspiration for the Tinubu administration and thus, add value to national conversations surrounding the blue economy.
He said: “this motivation comes naturally because we are naturally affiliated with the sector. Some of us are regulators, educators, and operators in the sector.”
Mallam Kaoje further stated that the book was put together by young bright minds in the industry who are determined to change the narrative and address the malingered challenges of the sector. To him, “this book is therefore our effort at contributing our quota to the development and what could be described as the U-turn for the benefit of the country.”
He went further to state that some of the challenges in unlocking the potential of the sector has to deal with regulation and overlapping roles of different agencies within the maritime sector.
According to Mallam Usman S. Kaoje, “We have issues around coordination and collaboration within government agencies, which sometimes results in redundancy and waste of public funds. Lack of efficiency, synergy, and funding. Without adequate funding, we cannot achieve any meaningful development in the maritime sector”.
He, however, expressed strong optimism in the new administration of Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu to address all of the various challenges in the maritime sector because he has been tested and trusted.
“Some recommendations made in the book include the establishment of a Coast Guard, Maritime Development Bank, and having a dedicated Ministry of Maritime Affairs that will drive a national maritime policy and strategy for the nation, and It’s imperative for the development of the National Maritime Masterplan.”
According to the convener, an official launching of the book will be announced soon after the reviews have been collated and the team have sat together to piece all the feedback together. Present to grace the occasion were captains of industry, politicians, and traditional rulers among others.